dj poolboi has returned with a new single ‘take me far away’ which is lifted from his upcoming album stay just a while longer – slated to drop on 4th of March 2022 via Unbelievably Spectacular Records.
The Austin, Texas-based producer released his debut LP in 2019 through renowned channel Majestic Casual, and went on to create official remixes for Moby, yeule and Alan Fitzpatrick’s side project 3STRANGE, racking up over 55 million plays to date.
With a second single from the upcoming album in the pipeline, we chatted to him about the making of the new record:
What’s your “secret sauce?” What makes your sound stand out?
I don’t really know if that’s for me to say; it’s hard to step away from your own work that you’re so close to and look at it from an outside perspective. I’d say it probably lies somewhere in the approach I take while writing. I focus heavily on an ambient feeling/emotion and try to capture it with certain chords and melodies. I like using different scales not typically heard in dance and house music, to create an immediate atmosphere that’s being juxtaposed by uptempo dance beats.
You mentioned that ‘take me far away’ was written to capture a feeling of frenetic dissociation you began to feel at the time of its writing. Could you elaborate on this?
At the time I was feeling very stagnant and trapped, not just in life but with my music as well. It felt like I was just going through the motions and really needed a change. I began experimenting with new sounds and genres and emotions; I wanted to expand my style of music and it felt extremely freeing to focus on myself and what kind of music I wanted to put out there. It was almost like a release of pent up anxiety and sadness putting that frenetic feeling of being unsure about the future into the track.
Is there a track on your upcoming album stay just a little while longer that you have a particular affinity for? Which one shouldn’t fans sleep on and why?
The beautiful thing about this album for me personally is that I’ve written these songs in all different genres, while still remaining true to my dj poolboi self and honesty. So there isn’t just one track I can point to because I love them all for different reasons. Each one provides me with a different feeling and it all comes together in an amalgamation of sounds that is a summary or portrait of my life and how I was feeling at the time of its writing.
Define a successful day in your eyes.
Any day that I feel well-rested, hydrated, happy and motivated. If I can wake up feeling good, get some coffee and get to work that’s a great day in my eyes.
What made you decide to pursue a musical career?
It was never really an option or a decision for me really. It was just something I always felt I was going to do as a career. Ever since I first started playing the drums in sixth grade and got really into music, it was what I wanted to do with my life.
What would you be doing as a career if you never pursued music?
The music was always going to be there. Whether I was making money with it or not, or performing or not performing. No matter what career I chose I would always be making music in my spare time and sharing it with my friends. That being said before going full time as a musician, I was studying computer programming. Specifically Java coding; so that’s the field I would probably be in while making music at home after work.
Pros and cons of the industry from your perspective?
The pros vastly outweigh the cons but there are definitely points for both sides. The pros being I get to do what I love for a living. It’s pretty amazing being able to make music full time; to be able to put it out there and see people’s responses to it. Performing is another main pro, being able to travel and meet new people and connect with the music and audience live, it’s a special thing. The cons are there are a lot of sharks out there and people who don’t care about the music and just want to exploit you for money. So it’s important to know who your friends are and who you can trust in the industry. Travelling and performing, which is wonderful, can also be very taxing. It takes a lot out of you to be in a different city every night and perform to your highest degree for a new audience. However, once I’m home from travelling I find I just want to get back out there and do it again.
Please list some of the most influential albums on your creative outlook and output:
I don’t even know where to begin, there are so many records to name that have influenced me in my life and music. Radiohead’s Kid Awill always be one of the most influential albums for me. As well as In Rainbows and basically their whole discography. I’d say Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, Daniel Johnston’s Hi How Are You, Interpol’s Turn On The Bright Lights, Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, all of Chopin’s compositions, Jay Z’s The Blueprint, Future Islands’ In Evening Air. I could go on and on for days and I’d still be forgetting to put some of my favorites.
What key pieces of gear/software do you use to define your sound?
Reason. Everything I’ve ever made I’ve made in Reason. My friend showed it to me over ten years ago now and I’ve never put it down. While I own analogue equipment I always just sit down with reason and a midi keyboard and write everything that way. I spend most of my time and money buying new plugins and instruments and discovering new sounds and synths.
Vinyl or CD?
Vinyl’s fidelity will forever always sounds better to me. And there’s something very special about collecting and holding those records. However, I grew up in the era of CD’s and they hold a very nostalgic place in my heart. I still have many of my old CD’s from high school and middle school, some of them which I’ve had signed by the bands themselves. I used to burn hundreds of CD’s with playlists I had made back in the day. So I have affection for both and all music in general. Cassettes as well, especially in the ambient genre; a lot of small independent labels put out cassettes and the lofi fidelity of a cassette can really compliment the music beautifully.
How has music production changed your outlook on life?
I have no idea where I’d be without music production. It has truly saved my life, there was a time when I couldn’t produce any music and had no equipment and that was one of the darkest and most depressing periods in my life. Producing music is my life, it gives me joy and peace, and makes me feel productive and fills me with purpose.
Tell us about your upcoming releases or projects?
I’ve just announced the release of my new sophomore album stay just a little while longer. The single ‘take me far away’ is the latest release with a cover of Petula Clark’s ‘La Nuit N’en Finit Plus’ featuring Clio following shortly after. I will also be touring Europe and playing live in March 2022